Act Without Expectation

It is the basic nature of human beings to take things for granted.

Expectations hurt because we tend to place them at a much higher level than most other things we value in life. There will be cases when we fail to communicate these expectations properly or if we do; we carry this fear that we may hurt them with the ideological standard we placed upon them.

We all have various expectations. In my experience(s), I have found carrying expectation to be a happiness killer. The times in my life where I just followed my heart, doing what I was good at — everything turned out great. It was only when I started having grand expectations of myself with what I wanted, that life started throwing me a curve ball.

Expectation can really hurt us, because we can’t predict an outcome. All we can do is do our best, living in the now and staying present.

These expectations we carry is similar to a backpack with useless things: sifting and sorting through them, lowering them and raising them, adding onto them… expectations in and of itself do not necessarily hurt, but meeting the expectation or having others fail to meet the one you may have set upon them do. An example of this would be a parent expecting their child to be the class topper so they may “secure” a bright future – but what of the child? They are just as capable of carrying the expectation of hoping their parents would encourage them to pursue their dreams or ambitions…

Not meeting either party’s expectations will be hurtful, so what is the solution? Could it perhaps be that too high of expectations are set or where the expectations set, wrong?

I know for me, being the go-getter that I am, it’s tough not to not have expectations albeit through dance, school, my career etc. (I am my toughest critic). During my “acting” phase – I had this expectation that the first film that I was a part of would be a success and recognized for the song, story and actors that brought it to life. Thus, during shooting, I was extremely pumped and when the release date neared – the excitement to see the final product was buzzing through my bones. Yet… I vividly remember the night I first saw the film the disappointment I felt. I won’t go into specifics, but I felt I let myself down along with expectation I had set in regard to the team…

I was even more disappointed when the film was put in a local festival against a few others that lacked in some areas where the film I was a part of was strong in – it was later understood that the “awards” went according to favorites and satisfying certain people in the field,  and of course who knows who in the “industry.” I was disappointed, but it was from that moment onward that I realized to stop carrying such high expectations – especially from others whom you may be associated with.

What is it that we expect from ourselves, and others? Expecting too much sets us up for disappointment. So many relationships fail because of expectations we put on the other person and ourselves. When we learn to accept and be grateful for what we have and who we are, we let go of expectations.

Living in the now lets us be more aware of the present moment — experiencing the event. Don’t you think it would be better to just live your life, experiencing it as it happens? By taking this action, you really don’t have expectations; you’re just experiencing something as it unfolds.

Rather than expecting things from people, try to start accepting people the way they are. Practice what is empathy – just for a second, place yourself in their shoes and think from their point of you. You may then start to understand as to why they carry such expectations or lack of them thereof…

So, stop expecting things from people and start accepting them as people – this includes yourself too by the way – learn to accept you for who you are in all your flaws and beauty. That is after all, who you are. Start building up your own happiness and confidence on something you DO have power over: your thoughts and beliefs.

 

Featured Photo Credit: Jay Seth Photography

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Alone, but not Lonely

I choose my isolation and thus, I enjoy the silence.

I am drawn in doing things on my own since a very young age. It’s not that I don’t like the company or the help in doing things – because I certainly do – but I enjoy time to myself. This perhaps may be because I consider myself to be a very independent person. I don’t like people feeling like they owe me to do something for me, unless its some kind of quid pro quo. That’s probably why I’d rather work on a project on my own than do it with a group.

It’s not that I’m antisocial; I’ve just been what I like to call a “floater” when it comes to relationships, meaning I bounce between groups of friends rather than having just a few close ones. I like to meet new people, learn about them and hear their stories, but by being this “floater” – there are times where I miss those connections and admire those who have them. This is when I feel alone…

But then I learned to never mistake being alone for loneliness. In order to evolve, you need time away – away from the noises of the world, friends, comfort and all distractions to find what is important and fulfilling. There’s nothing wrong with sitting back and enjoying the silence occasionally. Our busy world is also a demanding one. Between work, family, and friends, it’s incredibly tough to actually get time to ourselves.

We need to enjoy these fleeting moments when they arise. Make the most of your alone time by reflecting on your past and looking toward the future. Meditate and recharge, knowing it might be a while until you get some peace and quiet again.

These moments to yourself build character and show the level of patience you are willing to endure to find the spirit and wrestle with the thoughts that tell you, “you’re not worth anything” or “you can’t do it.”

There is a distinction that needs to be made with being alone and being lonely. When you are lonely, you are essentially saying, “I don’t have much meaning in my life… someone please come and comfort me… I need you, the world and all its people to occupy me and prove to me that I am worthwhile to breath…”

There will be moments in this time where you may wish to be held tightly as you may fragile and delicate… there will people who may pass you off and see and hear just the surface – such is their grace and understanding of you that’s gone in the blink of an eye…

Change these moments of loneliness into ones of aloneness. Alone, and by yourself. Do what you are mean to do which is serve. This takes courage and sacrifice of your self-centeredness. We are constantly being fed the idea that we need others around us in order to be happy and that’s not true. You yourself and you is all you need. You don’t need others to tell you you’re living your live correctly; just live. Do what you want to do.

Take the time to observe the world that encompasses you to yourself. So many of us, when we find ourselves alone – especially in public – tend to take out our phone to make it look like we’re busy, but why? Why do we have to be in a state which we’re not? Take the time to listen, to see, to feel… experience life. Instead of “acting busy”, take a book along with you.

Instead of watching the same sitcom reruns day after day, start a new hobby. Be a producer, not a consumer. By doing so, you’ll find the next big thing in your life will happen much sooner than if you were to wait for it to come.

Endure being alone to find that you are indeed loved and have love to return. This decision made in your heart will bring a glow to you that will attract others to you. Understand that you are good enough. You will never be lonely because you will have yourself and those you give to.

 Embrace yourself while you’re alone; it’s the best time you have to do so.

Featured Photo Credit: Nikky Stephen